“The sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal of equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation.” – Pope Leo XIII on socialism.
Over 100 Million Americans are on Welfare. That’s one-third of the population. In the wealthiest nation in the world. One out of every three Americans. Stop and think about that for a moment. This extends far beyond simply providing a safety net for the impoverished and unfortunate; the welfare state is, in fact, nothing more than government bribing Americans with their own money. But, with one American in three living off of hand-outs taken from the other two for how much longer do you think politicians will be able to hand out these “free” benefits before they drive the other two-thirds of Americans into poverty as well? After all, this data point alone should convince anyone that our nation is governed by socialist principles, and history, economics and the Catholic Church have made it very clear that collectivism can lead only to destruction.
the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in 2000 to 31.9 million when Barack Obama took office to 46.4 million today.
The federal government spent a staggering 71.8 billion dollars on the food stamp program in 2011.
The number of Americans on Medicaid grew from 34 million in 2000 to 54 million in 2011.
Medicaid was supposed to help the poorest of the poor get medical care and back in 1965 only about one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, about one-sixth of the entire country is on Medicaid. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls. But projections like that are usually way too low.
Entitlement spending alone constitutes nearly 50% of the federal budget. The next largest money pit is military spending as a result of our aggressive military adventurism abroad. Both need to be scaled back drastically – and soon.
Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.
That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.
And that’s just Medicare alone. In the face of such demands the rich will soldier on – and government will probably help protect them – but the weak will be left in the cold, defenseless and unable to meet their “debt to society.”
Socialists condemn advocates of a free-market and reduced government spending as “greedy” but we as a nation are addicted to government money – which is to say that we are addicted to other people’s money. What’s more greedy than that? When we demand entitlements we say its because we’re entitled to food and housing and medical care – it is our “right.” What we’re really saying, however, is that we are entitled to the fruit of other people’s labor and we can use force to take it from them. Their “debt to society” is a debt to me. Productive Americans “owe” it to everybody else. With incentives like those soon there won’t be any producers left. You can work 16 hour days in a fishery up in Alaska or you can sit at home and receive a check in the mail from the government. Which would you choose? What happens when enough people choose the latter?
Government benevolence programs are illegitimate, an economic disaster and usurp the rightful role of the Church and private charity. There is a fundamental difference between living in a welfare state and having a safety net for the poor. The law cannot force people to be charitable – it can only forcibly take their belongings and give them to others. This only serves to pit Americans against Americans, to sow contempt where otherwise there would be none. We do have a safety net available to us that does not involve force of law or pitting neighbors against each other: its called charity. We are the most charitable nation in the world and we donate enough, not only to provide for our own poor, but to help countless around the world. By giving back to the American people what is theirs and restoring an anemic economy sucked dry by government “legalized plunder” private charity can only grow and, as a result, charity in the hearts of the American people can grow again as well.
With that, I will end this article as it began, with a quote from Pope Leo XIII:
“At the present day many there are who, like the heathen of old, seek to blame and condemn the Church for such eminent charity. They would substitute in its stead a system of relief organized by the State. But no human expedients will ever make up for the devotedness and self sacrifice of Christian charity. Charity, as a virtue, pertains to the Church.”